Last Night

Last Night by Meryl Sawyer Read Free Book Online

Book: Last Night by Meryl Sawyer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Meryl Sawyer
Tags: LEGAL, Police, Journalism, Island/Beach, Smitten
situation had her completely off-balance.
    Rob ' s inquisitive stare didn ' t make her feel any better. " I can probably help you. How many people know about this? "
    " Just you. " She quickly added, " My sister and I have never told anyone. I didn ' t even tell Garth. I wouldn ' t have told you now except I had no choice. I received a blackmail note and a knife just like the one Hank had. "
    Rob leaned forward, both elbows on the table, his turbulent blue eye s never leaving her face. "Some one talked, or the blackmailer wouldn ' t have the goods on you. "
    " Neither of us told, " Dana insisted, "but I have a theory. While we were in that horrible town Vanessa met Slade Carter. It was one of those first love things. That night, after we ' d dragged Hank ' s body into the parking lot, we met Slade. Vanessa said I was sick and we were going to the all-night pharmacy in the next town. She promised to call him in the morning. Of course, she never did. "
    "Has Carter shown up in Hawaii? "
    " No, but two months ago Town and Country did a feature article on the Coltranes. There were several close-ups of Vanessa. She hasn ' t changed much since she was sixteen. She even wears her hair long and straight the way she did then. "
    "Okay, so you think this guy subscribes to a hoity-toity magazine that ' s geared to East Coast WASPS? "
    " I admit it ' s far-fetched, but I don ' t know how else to ex plain it. I never told a soul… until tonight. " The impact of what she ' d done overwhelmed her. She'd put her future—as well as Vanessa ' s and Jason ' s—on the line with a man she barely knew.
    "Then your sister told," he said flatly. "Someone here in the islands is behind this, not some boyfriend from twenty years ago. "
    " I ' m positive Vanessa hasn ' t told anyone. "
    "Aw, come on. Not even her husband? "
    "They don ' t have that kind of relationship. She married him for his money and he knows it. They barely speak. "
    Rob kicked back the rest of his S.O.B.—apparently his throat was lined with asbestos—but he didn ' t look one bit convinced.
    "Vanessa believes the Coltranes are behind this. She thinks they want to take her son, Jason, away from her. "
    "That makes more sense than the old boyfriend. " Rob stood and thrust his hand into the pocket of his tight-fitting cutoffs and yanked out some bills. She rose as he tossed a few on the table. "Let ' s head over to your place and take a look at that blackmail note and knife. "
    " Weren ' t you going to meet someone? "
    "I'll phone him from the car and reschedule. This is more important. "
    She didn ' t move away when Rob put his hand on the small of her back to guide her through the grass shack, which was so packed that people were forced to stand. Up on the small stage three men were playing ukuleles and chanting Hawaiian rap while a dozen men stood near them in nothing but their underwear.
    "Free Willie! Free Willie! " yelled the titas.
    " It ' s the Saturday night Wet Willie contest. " Rob nodded toward the group of tough-looking women, who were now whistling at the men. " The titas love it. "
    The men began dousing their flies with pitchers of beer. Dana was grateful for Rob's strong arm as he prized his way through the crowd to the door. Clearly women couldn ' t be too careful where they went. She didn ' t belong in a place like this; it reminded her too much of the Road Kill Bar, where all the trouble had begun. Places like this, wild people like this, frightened her.
    Yet Rob Tagett was right at home with these people. As he helped her into his sports car, she re minded herself that she wasn ' t looking for a soulmate. This was a professional relationship. Rob could frequent every sleazy bar in the islands for all she cared. What mattered to her was that he could help her when no one else could.
    They rode back to his home in silence. She didn ' t ask herself what he was really thinking. Thank heav ens he hadn ' t challenged her account of what happened that fateful night.

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